Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Review: The Child Safeguarding Policy for Churches and Ministries

The Child Safeguarding Policy Guide for Churches and Ministries
By Basyle Tchividjian & Shira M. Berkovits
New Growth Press, 2017


Churches have always sought to be a safe haven for children and families, but many today are dealing with the tragic reality of child sexual abuse.

This handbook, authored and edited by a multidisciplinary team of child abuse experts, is designed for use by a group that will be formulating policies and procedures to protect children and deal with possible child abuse in their ministry, school, and/or church. Working through this book will assist churches and ministries to assess their current child abuse polices and then guide them through each step they need to take to address the safety of children under their care. It will cover vitally important topics including:

-Protecting the children in a Christian environment from child abuse
-The warning signs of child abuse
-Crafting and implement a child protection policy
-Responding to abuse allegations
-Caring for victims of child abuse
-The legal implications and requirements for churches and Christian ministries

Written by a GRACE team with multi-disciplinary knowledge, headed by Boz Tchividjian, a lawyer and former child abuse prosecutor, this handbook will be an invaluable resource to Christians who are seeking to educate themselves and others about child abuse and how to best protect the little ones under their care.

Learn more and purchase a copy.

My thoughts

Sexual abuse of children isn’t something we want to think about, but it is certainly something that churches and ministry organizations need to be prepared for and have a policy in place. In fact, it is essential. I never realized how important this is until reading an outstanding resource called The Child Safeguarding Policy Guide for Churches and Ministries. There were things that I knew a little about, but so much that I wasn’t aware of.

This manual offers advice from experts and is comprehensive, thorough, and easy to follow. Just a few of the topics covered are defining abuse, indicators, screening, routine protective measures, policy violations, and reporting abuse. One of my favorite sections is that of survivor support.

In the back are three helpful appendixes: 1) Forming a Child Safeguarding Committee; 2) Forms, such as volunteer applications, evaluation, etc.; and 3) Empowering children.

The introduction mentions a woman who, when looking for a church home, asked the churches she visited about their sexual abuse policy – and if they didn’t have one, she moved on. I hate to admit that this is something I would never have thought of – and, while I suspect my church has some type of policy, I don’t know for sure. I will be giving my copy of this book to our elders and recommending it to other churches.

For church elders, ministers, teachers, volunteer staff, and parents - highly recommended.

I was provided a free copy of this book through Litfuse Publicity. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.



G.R.A.C.E (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment) is a nonprofit organization made up of highly trained, experienced multidisciplinary professionals who seek to educate and empower the Christian community to identify, confront, and respond to the sin of child abuse.

Find out more about GRACE at http://netgrace.org.


  1. Carole, how courageous of you to take on this book for review. I considered it, but just didn't really have the time to incorporate it into my schedule.
    I know this is something we don't like to think about. Our church definitely has a policy, and any time we get ready to start a new year in Awana or a VBS week we always go over the rules for the teachers, etc... Any time someone new is initiated, the pastor will discuss it with them, and we have a wait time before any random person that joins the church can just begin working with the children's ministry.